Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
The All Progressives Congress (APC) National Peace and Reconciliation
Committee yesterday urged aggrieved aspirants of the party to learn from how the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwumi Ambode, took the outcome of the governorship primary in his state with equanimity.
The Chairman of the Peace and Reconciliation Committee in Southwest, who is Borno State Governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, and Kaduna State
Governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, urged aggrieved aspirants to put the interest of the party at hearts and embrace the peace initiative of the party.
Other members of the committee, including the Managing Director of
Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside; former Ekiti State Deputy Governor, Prof Modupe Adelabu, and Hajia Seida Usman-Bugaje, said there was need for people to eschew crisis and work for the party’s unity ahead of 2019.
Speaking while interfacing with aggrieved aspirants in Ondo and Ekiti
States aspirants in the last primaries, Shettima said the way Ambode handled the outcome of the primary in Lagos had made him a darling of many Nigerian statesmen, urging the aspirants to view life from that perspective.
“From 1999 to date, I don’t think any Nigerian politician has demonstrated Ambode’s (who is also a member of this committee) level of courage in the way he handled the governorship primaries in Lagos.
“He is a governor who has worked exceptionally, but as I said, politics sometimes comes with unpredictable outcomes. Our courage in reacting
to situations like Ambode has withstood is what separates men from boys.
“I think anyone unhappy with the outcome of the APC primaries should
draw inspiration from him,” the Borno State governor advised.
Shettima said the fact that the National Working Committee set up the committee confirmed that the party appreciates the fact that all members are given due recognition.
He said it could have been disastrous for APC to allow the crises to
fester by not taking time to persuade the aggrieved members, adding that the aspirants should cooperate with the committee to be able to proffer lasting solution to all the disagreements.
According to him, “Nigeria currently has about 120,000 polling units, and for President Muhammadu Buhari to win, he needs votes from all these units relying on party members to garner votes. And in most cases, these are people the president may or may never know.
“We are here to listen to you; we didn’t come here with a mindset. But we are pleading that you join hands with us to resolve all these crises.
“Even our own leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu was the first victim of party’s compromises. When as the vice presidential candidate to
President Buhari failed, he had to painfully compromise his interest for over all interest of the party.”
On his part, El-Rufai expressed joy that the crisis in Ekiti State was not as
complex like Ondo State, expressing fear that the party risks the chance of losing Ondo State if unity is discarded by party members.
“If we win at the state and federal levels, we stand the chance of accommodating everybody but when we lose, then the party will be the greatest loser.
“In Kaduna State, I had issue with APC but I never had the intention of leaving the party. I stayed in the party and fought until justice prevailed, so we stand to gain nothing if we continue to fight ourselves. We must listen to ourselves and find solution to all the crises together,” he said.